West Midlands Adult Social Care Peer Challenge Summit – 12th December 2014

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Directors and Assistant Directors of Social Care from across the West Midlands gathered on 12th December  to review their performance and to identify forthcoming challenges for  2015. The peer challenge summit forms part of the regions’ approach to sector led improvement and builds on a commitment made by all 14 councils in the region to work collaboratively to provide mutual support and challenge.

The day was opened by Ian James, Chair of  West Midlands ADASS and DASS at Solihull Council. Ian outlined the progress that has been made in the region in relation to SLI and highlighted the commitment and effort that had been made by all councils to the regions peer challenge programme.

Sarah Norman, regional SLI Lead, explained how the summit forms part of the overall programme which is based upon recognising the importance of self awareness and the need for councils to be constantly challenging and being challenged over their performance and how the regional programme is assisting in identifying common challenges and the benefits of working collaboratively.

Eddie Clarke, the regions’ Peer Challenge Coordinator, explained the format for the day that involved bringing all the councils present together in groups of 2 or 3 to challenge their partner based on a pre-prepared pack of information that included a self assessment, performance data set and a balanced scorecard.

Each DASS was asked to prepare for the day by familiarising themselves with information about the council that they were to be challenging on the day and prepare questions based on a pro-forma.

The challenge sessions ran for 1 hour and then the roles were reversed.

A plenary session provided an opportunity to identify common themes emerging for the region and these were collated to be fed into the regions’ work programme for 2015.

In the afternoon session Eddie Clarke provided an overview of the 12 peer challenges that had been undertaken in 2013/14 and drew out some lessons learnt and thoughts on how the programme might be developed in 2015.

Graeme Betts, the LGA Improvement Adviser provided feedback on the work he has started in the region in holding 1 to 1 conversations with DASS’s looking at risk triggers and areas where further support may be required.

Ian James then summarised the days’ activities and introduced a discussion about the way forward and priorities for 2015.

The day concluded with ADASS President David Pearson  facilitating an informal session on the challenges facing ADASS nationally and his thoughts on the key areas for focus over the next 12 months.

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